The following is a guest post by Kiera Abbamonte. Kiera Abbamonte is the Content Marketing Specialist for Grasshopper. She loves a good baseball game and finding new ways to make content awesome. Catch up with her on Twitter @kieraabbamonte.
The freelance economy is booming. Never has there been a greater number of capable and skilled contractors available to businesses large and small. Being able to hire freelancers instead of full-time employees has huge benefits for businesses.
Commonly tasked with penning blog posts and website copy, freelance writers are some of the most valuable contractors out there.
Why, you ask?
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Because powerful, compelling copy can be the difference between shouting into the void and actually getting eyes on your website, between providing visitors with a deep understanding of your product and confusing the crap out of them. Freelance writers are a gift to today’s business world, and they may just be the best thing that ever happened to you. Here’s why.
More Eyes on Your Business Communication
You understand what your business has to offer. You know the product, inside and out, and the potential it holds. You recognize the benefits your offering brings to the table, and your vision for the business, better than anyone.
But communicating those benefits to a wide and varied audience? It’s not as simple as it may seem. Bringing in a third party to handle business communication does two things: it lends an objective eye, and it forces you to formulate a clear business message.
When you bring on a freelance writer, explaining your business to them is a fantastic exercise in clarifying your business’ message. You have to be able to convey your unique value proposition in a way that’s digestible for someone on the outside. That’s good practice.
But a professional writer is capable of so much more than just providing objectivity — a writing pro takes your message and makes it compelling. They craft a story around your product and make it speak to almost any audience you choose.
Poor Writing Sends the Wrong Message
You may be thinking: I’m no Hemingway, but people understand what I mean. I can put a sentence together, so why do I need to pay a writer?
Here’s the thing. Poor writing doesn’t just hinder clarity — it can actually cause readers to perceive you as less intelligent, credible, and authoritative. When your message is unclear or riddled with grammatical errors, your audience may have trouble viewing you as an expert with authority in your field. That means it can squelch any level of expertise you have.
When you hire a professional to write your business communication, you’re capitalizing on both your own subject matter expertise and your writer’s communication prowess.
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Expertly written copy is the conduit through which your know-how and vision are conveyed to a wide audience. It helps readers see you and your business’ value more clearly.
Powerful Copy Can Skyrocket Conversions
Another benefit of hiring a freelance writer? They can see, master, and sweat the details. When you have a large chunk of copy, it just looks like a bunch of words in a row… to you. To a master wordsmith, it’s a collection of tools and levers she can pull to accomplish a million different goals.
When it comes to written communication on the internet, even the tiniest of tweaks can make a big difference in how people find and perceive your business and its content. For example, changing your call-to-action from “Buy now” to “Add to bag” can boost conversions by a significant margin.
It’s easy to wonder why such a small change would have a notable effect on conversions — the two phrases mean the same thing after all. The difference isn’t a result of what each phrase means, objectively. It’s a product of what those words mean, subjectively, to the people most likely to read them.
A professional writer has a firm grasp on how different words and phrases affect perception and behavior, and she can manipulate language to produce a desired effect — like increased conversion.
Search Optimization Can Seriously Boost Traffic
Search optimization is not the end-all-be-all of content on the internet. However, it is a big factor in how many people find your business online, and it’s a hugely powerful tool if you can leverage it. So influential, in fact, that ranking in the #1 or 2 spot on Google can cause a 30% swing in the number of clicks your website gets.
That being said, you should never write copy with SEO as your primary focus. Google and other search engines are sensitive to content that’s created with too much emphasis on keywords. Search engines and their algorithms are brilliant these days, so ranking well requires a nuanced approach to SEO.
A capable freelance writer doesn’t just have the gift of wordsmithing. In 2016, they also have to be expert search marketers with a firm understanding of how to create content that performs well in search.
Are you sold on bringing in a professional writer to handle your business communication? Freelance writers can handle any type of project you throw at them — from website copy to print or digital advertisements to social media and blog posts; they’re masters of the written word. And as a contractor, you don’t have worry about providing benefits or paying a fixed, annual salary.
Ready to find one? Here are some of the best options for finding a talented writer for your business:
- Reach out to writers from blogs you love
- Try Contently
- Check out Upwork
- Ask around if colleagues and peers have recommendations
To get the most for your investment, be sure to vet potential freelancers by checking out their portfolio of work — you can even ask them to complete a small assignment to gauge their performance.